Monday, May 23, 2011


Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a public figure who's plausibly accused of a loathsome crime, so it's pretty much open season on him in the press -- which becomes a problem when it tempts the amoralists in the Murdoch media to just make stuff up. Murdochians do this fairly regularly, punching up their straight news coverage with little bits of fiction based on anonymous sources who may or may not exist. Because Murdoch is a tabloid guy from way back, sometimes these bits of fiction are pure titillation; because he's a right-winger (as are nearly all of his subordinates), sometimes the fiction is for political purposes.

That's a long lead-in to my main point, which is that, as horrible as Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears to be, I'm not sure I believe this Fox News story is true:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a New York City hotel maid, "Don't you know who I am! Don't you know who I am?" while pinning her down during the alleged sexual assault, law enforcement sources close to the investigation told

"Please stop. I need my job, I can't lose my job, don't do this. I will lose my job. Please, please stop! Please stop!" she told Strauss-Kahn, according to law enforcement sources.

Strauss-Kahn allegedly responded: "No, baby. Don't worry, you're not going to lose your job. Please, baby, don't worry," Strauss-Kahn responded, according to investigators. "Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am?" ...

"Don't you know who I am?" (along with its variant, "Do you know who I am?") is one of those verbal secret handshakes right-wingers have -- when they say it to one another, everyone know the allusion: it's a reference to legends about John Kerry, specifically those collected by Boston radio talk show host (and occasional New York Post columnist) Howie Carr in this 2004 column:

One of the surest ways to get the phones ringing on any Massachusetts talk-radio show is to ask people to call in and tell their John Kerry stories. The phone lines are soon filled, and most of the stories have a common theme: our junior senator pulling rank on one of his constituents, breaking in line, demanding to pay less (or nothing) or ducking out before the bill arrives.

The tales often have one other common thread. Most end with Sen. Kerry inquiring of the lesser mortal: "Do you know who I am?"

... Many of his constituents see him in person only when he is cutting them in line - at an airport, a clam shack or the Registry of Motor Vehicles....

Already, John Hayward of Human Events is making the connection:

The most striking bit of information contained in the Fox report is the one I just knew would surface eventually. According to the maid, when she begged DSK to let her go and wailed that she could lose her job, he replied, "Don't worry, you're not going to lose your job. Please, baby, don't worry. Don't you know who I am?"

Ah, the battle cry of the privileged elitist. It translates readily into every language. They belt it out whenever their desires are thwarted by law, custom, or the rights of an insignificant citizen....

It's the punch line to many a tale of ordinary people running afoul of Massachusetts senator John Kerry....

And although Hayward doesn't say it, for this audience I suppose he doesn't have to: every snickering wingnut knows that the main thing Kerry and Strauss-Kahn have in common, besides being rich, arrogant socialist liberals is that Kerry looks French! Har har har!

I suppose it could be legit, but I have my doubts. It's too irresistible a punch line for this crowd.

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